The Arizona Wildcats (11-9) unleashed a blisteringly hot offensive attack in the first game of the series Friday night against the Washington State Cougars (4-9).
The middle infield for Arizona especially hurt the Cougars. Junior second baseman Trent Gilbert went 2 for 4 and drove in four runs, and sophomore shortstop Kevin Newman added two more RBIs en route to a 12-1 blowout at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Ariz.
The Cougars could only manage to score one run against Arizona senior starter James Farris, who pitched all nine innings, striking out nine and walking one. Farris scattered nine innings throughout his complete game of work.
“We lacked aggressiveness,” Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. “We just have to do a better job and try and come back to win a series.”
Senior Jason Monda opposed Farris on the mound, and gave up three runs on six hits in six innings. Junior Sean Hartnett, sophomore Matt Bower, and junior Sam Triece all followed with 1/3 inning of relief each. After Triece had finished his time in the game, the score was still within reach at 5-0 after seven full innings.
Then came the dreaded bottom of the eighth inning, in which the Wildcats tacked on seven more runs, six of which were charged to freshman Layne Bruner. Sophomore Chris McDowell allowed one more run, and finished the inning to put an end to what was an all-around dismal night for the Cougars.
Senior catcher Collin Slaybaugh and redshirt sophomore left fielder Ben Roberts recorded multi-hit games for WSU. Slaybaugh went 3 for 4, and Roberts finished 2 for 3.
Game 2 of the series will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Junior Joe Pistorese is expected to start for the Cougars, and redshirt sophomore Cody Hamlin is expected to take the ball for the Wildcats.